A counseling degree and career in counseling are ideal for students who are academically minded, who have a large helping of empathy and who possess an all-encompassing desire to help others.
Although there are presently several different counseling academic degree programs available to students, they all have in common the fact that they qualify a student to help other people recognize, address and change whatever adverse circumstances are affecting their lives. A counseling degree runs the gamut from the lower level associate degrees to the extremely high level doctoral degrees, and, although a student may begin their associate level counseling degree program learning about the basic principles of psychology and counseling, they will, if they elect to proceed that far, end their doctoral degree program by qualifying in one of more highly specific counseling majors. All levels of counseling degree programs are, furthermore, available either on-campus or online, and today’s students therefore have the choice of studying from home or going away to school.
Lying between the associate degree and the doctoral programs are both the bachelors degree and the masters degree, and a small fraction of the possible counseling degrees that are available at these levels – each reflecting their respective majors – comprise the following:
- The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Addiction Counseling;
- The Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a major in Christian Counseling;
- The Bachelor of Science in Human Relations with a major in Counseling;
- The Master of Science (MS) in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling (this is available both with and without a special major in Forensic Counseling);
- The Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling;
- The Master of Science in School Counseling, which is accredited by the prestigious CACREP (The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs).
On the doctoral – PhD – level, counseling course programs are extremely focused on one or two very specific areas, and students can choose to specialize in fields that range from counseling psychology to counselor education and supervision. Of course, the higher the qualification the student graduates with, the more equipped he or she will be to compete for a higher level position in counseling, and it is generally understood that careers in counseling can be divided among the following broad categories: